BMSS Western Endurance Saddle Gallery - Lightweight and Treeless

Tips for Endurance Fitness Training

Take into account your horse's current level of work and devise a training program that starts slowly and builds up, working consistently towards fitness.

Make gradual adjustments to the distance and intensity of your outings, moving from outings at a forward-going walk to sessions introducing periods of trot and steady canters.

Work on maintaining a balanced position and a light, steady contact - lurching about or sitting heavily makes the job so much more difficult for the horse.

Take it steady. A novice endurance rider can be tempted to set off like a maniac. Don't do that!

Instead, walk your horse before the ride, relax and keep to a steady trot for the first few km's to warm up. Before long, you'll settle into a rhythm and you and your horse will enjoy yourselves.

What is Endurance Riding?

To get started with endurance riding all you need is a sound, hacking-fit horse of any breed or build.

The key to success is steady, progressive training. You don't need any special training for endurance - if you're in control at all paces you'll cope, but flatwork lessons will improve your horse's suppleness and obedience and make the ride more enjoyable for you both.

There's none of the pressure of being in the spotlight associated with other equestrian disciplines. It's just you and your horse out there, riding against the clock and the terrain.

There will be vet checks during an event. Teach your horse to stand still and get help from a friend to pretend to measure your horse's heart rate. Your horse must also learn to trot up actively and in a straight line.